Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


It sounds like someone is having a conversation when Frank goes back to his bedroom, which is on the exact opposite side of the castle from where his Uncle’s offices are. Curious, Frank hears Gerard’s voice and he could swear there’s a response by a different one, but as soon as he opens the door, it’s just Gerard sitting in one of the chairs that he made fun of Frank for having in his room. He immediately closes the book on his lap at the sound of Frank entering the room. Maybe that’s what people who can read do; they talk to their books.

“Hi!” Gerard says hurriedly, like he’s trying to cover up for something and Frank thinks he’s probably just embarrassed that he was talking to himself.

“Hey,” Frank says smiling, “were you just talking to yourself?”

“Uh, don’t worry about it,” Gerard says, throwing the book on the chair and then standing up. “What did your Uncle want?”

“Oh…” Frank says, and he does not know how to start this conversation at all. He just told his Uncle that he’s going to marry Gerard, and also, he has to become the King in order to make that happen. “Don’t worry about it.” He mirrors Gerard’s answer. That’s a matter for a different time.

“Okay,” he goes to sit on the edge of the bed. The bed hasn’t been remade yet today, but that’s because Gerard’s been lounging around the room all day. A servant knocked on the door a little earlier, not the same one as before, but when she saw Gerard she ran away after many apologies.

Frank goes to sit next to him, and Gerard lets him entwine their fingers together. Gerard’s hands are so beautiful. He can’t believe how beautiful everything about this man is. It’s not possible for everything to be perfect about someone, and yet here Gerard is.

“There is one thing,” Frank says.

“Which is?” He can sense the tone and he doesn’t like it. Frank is about to say something to him that he’s not going to like.

“We have to stay for a few more days, I think.” Frank doesn’t go into detail, but it’s probably going to be a lot more days. If he has to become King in order to marry Gerard, then surely, he’s going to have to become King before they can even leave. How long will it take for them to find this fairy of Gerard’s? It could be weeks! Months even. What if he’s many thousands of miles away? Only fairies can fly, he wishes so much that the two of them could fly to wherever Gerard’s mysterious fairy is, but unfortunately, it’s not possible.

“How long is ‘a few more days’?” Gerard asks. He doesn’t look upset. He doesn’t even sound upset. He just looks scared. Frank hates to see that on his face. Maybe he doesn’t need to become King before they leave. Maybe he can just announce his coronation and then they can go find Gerard’s fairy. But he doesn’t know how long that’s going to take… Frank wishes he had all of the answers.

If he and Gerard were to leave tomorrow, he would be running away from a precarious situation and coming back to an impossible one. What if his Uncle finds someway to make his love illegal? He could probably do it by tomorrow! Frank doesn’t know exactly how quickly an act can become law, but clearly, there’s not a lot of oversight if what Gerard has told him is true, which it has to be at this point. But if he holds off on finding Gerard’s fairy, is he not then betraying Gerard?

Neither of his options are good. Put off being King too long and he might not be able to keep Gerard. Put off finding Gerard’s fairy for too long and he might not be able to keep Gerard for different reasons.

“If I told you…” Frank says, and then he looks at Gerard’s face. What a perfect face. He’s so soft, and his eyes look so scared. He wants nothing more than to find this fairy, and Frank doesn’t know why he needs to find him, but the look in those brown eyes says it all. This is important. This is world changing important. Gerard has risked death to find this fairy and he missed his shot in Giantville. He’s scared he’s going to lose him again. Frank just can’t betray him in this way. He just can’t. Gerard’s goals are more important, they have to be.

“Just two or three, so that we can get all the supplies ready to go again.”

“Okay,” Gerard says looking relieved. The moment he sees Gerard’s relief, Frank knows he could never have had any other option. Maybe his Uncle will make it illegal while they’re gone. Frank will just have to reverse it. His Uncle can’t stop him from succeeding to the throne, and he can’t change what Frank does once it’s his. It can wait. All of that can wait. Gerard can’t. He’ll be with Gerard no matter what, and he’ll marry him once he gets the chance to.

“I just have to set things in order so that we can depart. The Knights will come with us, it’s their duty, so it will feel much the same. As for your friends, I’m more worried about them. It’s not safe or responsible of me to allow them to come with us, but I don’t know that… well, I don’t know that Pete and Patrick are going to be very welcomed here when the two of us leave. I’ll have to make arrangements to get them a place to stay here in town, a house or something.”

“Why, what did your Uncle say?” Gerard asks.

“He just made it clear that he doesn’t like me having strangers in the castle. He doesn’t have any faith in me that I’m a good judge of character.”

“What must that mean for his opinion of me?”

Frank blushes. He cannot tell Gerard that his Uncle knows of them, and he especially cannot know how much he disapproves. Eventually, yes, Gerard will have to know about that, but for now, that doesn’t need to be said. Gerard already hates Edgar enough; Frank doesn’t need to throw kindling on that fire.

“We are going to go, though? Three days tops?”

“Yes!” Frank says. It’s not a lie. It isn’t. If his Uncle tries to stop him then he’ll push him out of the way. Gerard is priority number one. “I love you. I would do anything for you. We’ll do this before anything else.”

“We can come back after,” Gerard says. He’s scared of saying it, but he thinks he needs to. “To the castle I mean. You and I can come back.”

“Not to Frell?”

“Not… not right away. Or… well, I don’t know. It’s very hard for me to be open about this,” Gerard says, and he takes a deep breath. Frank grips his hand even tighter.

“You don’t have to-”

“I really want to stay with you. For a really long time. I don’t really want to go back to Frell. Only to get Ray. That’s all I want. I just want Ray, Patrick, and you. I want you a lot.”

“I want you a lot too.” Frank kisses him for a really long time, because more than Gerard lets him.

“We can’t spend the entire day just kissing,” Gerard says, but he doesn’t make to stop it. He also doesn’t stop Frank’s wondering hands. Frank just wants to touch every part of Gerard that he can. Multiple times. In every single way.

“Who says?”

“Come on,” Gerard says, but Frank pushes him over on the bed and kisses him some more, and Gerard is fine with it. More than fine. Fuck, this is his life now, isn’t it? You give two boys a room to themselves and things just go downhill from there.

“You’re literally so pretty,” Frank says, kissing down Gerard’s neck.

Fuck! Mikey is in here. Mikey is literally on that chair over in the corner. He cannot put his brother through this again.

“I mean it,” Gerard’s voice is rather breathy. He really can’t let this happen right now, but god does he want to. “We should go see something, show me somewhere.”

“You’ve already gotten the tour,” Frank says. Gerard grabs Frank by the sides of his face, kisses him until they’re both breathless and then pushes him off.

“I want to see something. We’re going to do something.”

“The hall of records?” Frank asks, because he can sense that that’s what Gerard wants.

Gerard stews on the suggestion for a moment. Is that really what he wants right now? It will be there tomorrow, won’t it? “That can wait. Let’s do something, like, romantic?”

“Fuck, okay, yeah,” Frank says jumping up, because that is one thing he can get on board with. Romantic. He can impress Gerard. It’s a big castle with many things that might impress Gerard.

Gerard clambers up after him, less vigorously because he really would like to stay here forever. He tries to fix his clothes because Frank got him all messed up. He’s wearing some of Frank’s clothes, the most modest ones he could find, because the very idea of wearing something expensive sickens him just a little bit. His clothes are being washed by whomever does the washing in this castle, and he cannot wait for the second they’re done so that he can wear real, normal people clothes. He definitely doesn’t look as fancy as Frank does at all times, but he doesn’t really feel like Gerard.

“You look very regal right now, just saying,” Frank says, when he notices Gerard playing with the tunic.

“I kind of hate it.”

“You hate my clothes?” Frank asks, trying to sound amused, but he’s also kind of nervous that Gerard has hated the way he dresses this entire time and he never said anything about it. Oh fuck, what if Gerard thinks he looks stupid? Shit.

“Not on you,” Gerard shrugs, “but I look like a little boy playing dress up.”

“I think you could wear a potato sack and be sexy,” Frank says, pulling Gerard closer to him. Frank’s not going to say he has a height complex, but it is weird that he has to look up at Gerard. It can’t even be three inches, but still. Frank kind of always knew he would be the short one in the relationship considering that he is the height of some elves, but he has to get used to looking up in order to kiss Gerard. It’s preferable when he has Gerard lying down so he can kiss him at any and every angle.

“Sexy is not a word that has ever been used to describe me before, but I’m going to keep it.”

Frank looks at Gerard’s eyes and he loses himself. How can anyone have such pretty eyes? It’s not even fair. They’re brown, but in the right light, they’re gold. Frank has always been kind of a sucker for brown eyes. “I really really love you.”

Gerard kisses him to avoid having to say anything back. He doesn’t want to keep putting off saying ‘I love you’ but it’s so scary. Being with someone at all is scary when he has this curse, but to give Frank so much of him like that… it just wouldn’t be fair to either of them.

“Where do you want to go?” Frank asks into his mouth. Gerard almost tells him he wants to go back to bed. He’s still not sure if what they’ve been doing is technically sex or not, but he likes it. He likes it very much. Later, though. Not with Mikey’s book just lying there. He could just tell Frank he has to put the book away… no, that would be weird. They’ve spent so much time in this room today already.

“Where do you go to when you need to escape life?” Gerard asks. The only place where Gerard ever feels alone is on the way back from town. No one ever travels that path besides him, and it feels like his. It’s where he would go when he didn’t want to be with anyone else. Not even Ray or Patrick. He brought Frank in on that little secret, he let Frank walk him home. Frank got to see his insides before Gerard even realized he was laying them out for him. It wasn’t intentional, but it feels like fate.

Except, Gerard doesn’t believe in fate. Meeting Frank on that walk home was just the greatest accident ever. Of all the places and all the times for Frank to get his foot stuck in a goddamn fox trap, he had to do it just as Gerard was walking past. Gerard’s life might have moved on totally from that point if they never met. He would never have known what he was missing. He would still be back in Frell, being a makeshift servant to Buggy and his stepsisters.

“There’s this little garden,” Frank says, “surrounded by mirrors. It’s actually inside the castle, like its own little room.”

“Take me there.” Frank nods his head immediately, almost like Gerard’s order means something to him.

Frank takes him by the hand, only he doesn’t run as quickly as he had yesterday. Today, Frank takes him by the hand slowly, and it’s extremely intimate. Gerard has half a thought to care about the staff who might see them, but he doesn’t. Frank takes him through the castle, and he must not have been paying very much attention on the tour yesterday, or possibly the castle is bigger than he thought it was. Gerard doesn’t recognize literally anything they walk past.

He considers asking about Pete and Patrick, but he kind of forgets they exist once he turns to say something to Frank, because wow, that is the prettiest person in the whole world, and he’s holding Gerard’s hand right now. That guy! Holding Gerard’s hand! His stepsisters would kill to be him right now and that gives him an evil sort of satisfaction. Frank would never go for you two. Frank has better taste than that. You don’t deserve him.

He actually recognizes where he is once Frank opens the door to the library. It’s as decadent as it had been yesterday, three stories filled to the brim with more books than Gerard, his kids, and his grandkids could never finish in their lifetimes.

“I thought we were going to a garden?” he asks, though he wouldn’t be totally opposed to spending a few hours here in the library. Maybe he could read to Frank.

“We are,” Frank says, walking over to one particular bookshelf. “It’s a secret garden.”

“Oh fuck, that is so cool,” Gerard says, feeling some sort of weird emotion in the pit of his stomach at the idea of a secret garden. Just him and Frank alone in a secret garden together. Just kissing and overheating. He and Frank have definitely spent too much time today with their clothes off, because now Gerard is having impure thoughts.

“Literally only like four or five people know about it.”

Frank pushes a few books aside and Gerard sees a small little lever in the very corner of the bookshelf.

“Can I do it? Please tell me I can open the door to the secret garden?” Gerard says, unreasonably excited by a secret passageway. He read a book once that claimed there were secret passageways all over the castle, but he just assumed it was either fake or he’d never get to find out, but now he’s here, literally standing in front of a secret passageway, and if he doesn’t get to pull that lever, he will physically die.

“It’s all yours,” Frank steps back and makes a show of gesturing towards Gerard. He gets a little hop in his step. He grabs ahold of the lever, pulls it down, and the second he does so, there’s a weird groaning sound before the entire bookshelf swings open.

“Fuck that is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” Gerard says. Frank wraps himself around Gerard’s arm and nuzzles his head into his neck for just a second, before he looks up and smiles at Gerard. Gerard is actually not looking at him right now, he’s far too busy looking into the little room. Frank drags him inside, and pushes the bookcase closed behind them so that Gerard can get the full experience.

Once inside, Gerard is awestruck. He’s literally never been in a more beautiful place in his entire life. The garden is open to the sky, you can see an overcast day above them. Frank wasn’t lying about the mirrors, which are painting the walls all around them, but there’s strings of ivy growing all over them, some of it practically eating the mirror entirely. A little bit above their heads, Gerard can see the ivy growing all the way up onto the exposed brick, reaching its way towards the heavens. It’s not so much a garden at all as it is a little paradise of wilderness inside of this monstrosity of a castle. There’s grass below their feet that seems to be fighting a winning battle against stone foundation that was put in place many centuries ago.

Frank brings him to the center of the room, it’s really not a large room at all. Probably the same size as the living room in his home back in Frell. There’s no furniture, nothing, just nature trying to defeat the manmade. It looks abandoned. Honestly, this place looks like someone forgot about it, but that makes it perfect.

He and Frank are stood in exactly the center of the room. Gerard can see the two of them from all angles, because the mirrors show everything. The reflections go on forever, but he doesn’t care about anything besides looking at Frank.

“This is perfect,” Gerard says, and he feels a tear in his eye. He doesn’t know what at all it is, but he cannot hold in his emotions right now. This room is doing something inside of him. He can feel forever in this little space. He can feel his desperation. His entire body is screaming out to be loved and held by Frank. He wants to be free so badly, and he can just tell that however perfect and wonderful this place is, it means nothing now compared to what it will mean when he’s free of his curse.

“Don’t cry, why are you crying?” Frank asks, looking extremely worried, and wiping away the tear with his thumb. Gerard’s face is so soft and flawless in this light. Frank can’t allow him to ever tarnish his perfect face with tears or pain.

“It’s just really beautiful, Frank,” Gerard says, his voice choked. He is feeling every single emotion all at once, the good ones and the bad ones. He’s not sure what’s winning.

You’re really beautiful,” Frank says, putting his hand on Gerard’s neck. Gerard puts his hand over Frank’s, and his eyes really are watering. What is it about this room? What is it? Why does he feel this way? He’s never had to bite back telling Frank he loves him more than he’s doing right now. This is perfect, everything is perfect, he loves Frank so much. He’s never felt this way. He’s never had emotions this huge, like they’ll burst right out of him.

Frank was going to come here and tell Gerard the story of his parents. Their marriage was arranged but they fell in love a few months after they were officially King and Queen. According to his father, this was where they would go to be alone. They came to this very spot to talk. This was the room where they really fell in love. His father wished that he could’ve proposed to her here. He didn’t get to propose, it was all decided for him. He would have married her anyway, without the arrangement, but he always felt like that moment of asking was stolen from him.

Seeing Gerard now, he knows he can’t tell Gerard that story. Because this is the room where he’s going to ask Gerard to marry him. He didn’t know that until just now, but the look in his eyes... Gerard is more grounded to earth here than he ever has been before. There could never have been a different spot for the two of them. He can fulfill his own fathers’ dreams.

Frank isn’t prepared to do it right now. He thinks, well as of right now, he knows that he’s going to ask Gerard before they leave. He can’t hold it back. Gerard said that they would come back to the castle after they’ve found Gerard’s fairy, not to Frell. But they’re going to go out and find this fairy, and they’ll do it as an engaged couple who are taking on the world. They just have to, Frank can’t keep that inside of him for much longer.

This is his Gerard. His wonderful, beautiful, perfect Gerard. The two of them stand there, hugging each other, and they can practically feel the earth turning. Frank grips him tightly, and Gerard hangs on even tighter. Gerard is still sort of crying, but maybe that isn’t the word for it. Gerard has determined that all of his happy emotions are winning out right now. He is so in love with Frank, that’s what the tears feel like. The need to say it is messing with his entire system, it can only come out now like this. If he holds onto Frank for dear life, nothing will ever be able to hurt him.

Not a whole lot of people know about the secret garden, that’s why it’s called the secret garden. Even fewer people know that one of the mirrors to the secret garden isn’t just a mirror. You can see right through it, but only one way, so that one can look right into the garden without anyone ever knowing they’re being watched.

Edgar knows about the one-way mirror.

What a lovely couple. Carefree and on top of the world.

“This simply won’t do.”